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Category: Interesting or Cool

Dirty little secret: synthetic estrogen in our fish runs

Dirty little secret: synthetic estrogen in our fish runs

Putting a link to this research paper by Canadian scientists studying fish runs after a few folks asked about it. This is one study, there are others you can also find that show how all the synthetic and estrogenic substances in our personal care products, birth control pills, anti-depressants, etc are affecting fish development.

Municipal wastewaters are a complex mixture containing estrogens
and estrogen mimics that are known to affect the reproductive
health of wild fishes. Male fishes downstream of some wastewater
outfalls produce vitellogenin (VTG) (a protein normally
synthesized by females during oocyte maturation) and early-stage
eggs in their testes, and this feminization has been attributed to
the presence of estrogenic substances such as natural estrogens
[estrone or 17-estradiol (E2)], the synthetic estrogen used in
birth-control pills [17-ethynylestradiol (EE2)], or weaker estrogen
mimics such as nonylphenol in the water.

Read more here:
http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/104/21/8897.full.pdf

Japan closes 80% of AirBnb’s and passes strict new laws

Japan closes 80% of AirBnb’s and passes strict new laws

Japan is cracking down hard on AirBnB. It just passed a new law to address minpaku (home shares) and 80% of Japan’s listed AirBnB’s have disappeared. As of next week, Japanese hosts have to register for permission to share their home with the federal government under the hotel and ryokan laws that promote fire and emergency safety. Hosts also won’t be able to rent out their homes for more than 180 days a year.

Japan now joins a growing trend from big cities limiting AirBnB as Parisian courts are also about to rule on the legality of more than 40,000 listings later this month.

I think this is a wonderful idea – and I hope it catches on here in the states. The sharing economy is a race to the bottom for workers and AirBnB contributes to already difficult and tight housing situations in major cities.

Futuristic US Currency

Futuristic US Currency

Andrey Avgust came up with a series of futuristic and beautiful designs for United States’ dollar bills. He came up with designs that utilize multiple layers of plastic, with serial numbers, QR codes and other details that are readable under UV light.

Pretty amazing – give the video a watch.

Terry Davis and TempleOS

Terry Davis and TempleOS

Terry Davis is a programmer that has had a very difficult life. After a series of manic episodes, at 44 Terry is now homeless and most believe he has schizophrenia or suffering some other seriously debilitating mental disorder. He was most recently spotted on the streets here in Portland.

What’s unusual about Terry is that he wrote his own operating system: TempleOS. It’s free to download, and is written in HolyC. He even has his own youtube channel. There is even video of him debugging it while living homeless in his car in the middle of parking lots.

His life currently demonstrates the terrible state of mental health care in the United States, and the difficult reality of many homeless. They are often very intelligent, but have disorders that make them non-functional in society.

Read more about TempleOS and Terry on wikipedia.

Warning: his more recent videos have racist and inappropriate sexual language.

 

Dear God Yes. Cellphone sanity?

Dear God Yes. Cellphone sanity?

I’ve always been one that believes when you’re together, be together. Put your !@#$ cell phones away when having dinner together or enjoying a show. I personally believe the Phone Stacking Game should be mandatory. Now Yondr has come out with something almost better. Something I hope catches on.

You are handed one of their little Yondr pouches – slightly larger than a cell phone. You put your cell phone into the pouch and the case locks shut with a little pin/tag similar to those use in department stores on clothes. You can only unlock the pouch and get your phone back out at unlocking stations located at the exit.

This allows you to go to venues where you don’t want cell phones to be distracting the experience yet let each person retain ownership and control of their phone. Even better, if you might get an emergency call, you can hear the ring tone/feel the vibration and immediately exit to see it.

I can see parents using this with children, at movie theaters, or even churches.

Cuphead Animation Reel

Cuphead Animation Reel

Cuphead was one of the most beautiful and innovative games in the last year. Not only did it have great (and notoriously difficult) gameplay, but the graphical style is a magical throwback to the golden era of animation.

The creators of Cuphead put together an animation reel that gives you some insights on how this wonderful game was put together using classic animation techniques. Give it a watch.

Projection Mapped Data Sculptures

Projection Mapped Data Sculptures

Media artist Refik Anadol’s work Melting Memories combines data and light projections  to visibly demonstrate how the brain recalls memories. The installation was created with a custom 16 x 20 foot LED media wall and CNC milled rigid foam, and was shown earlier in 2018 at Pilevneli Galleryin Istanbul.

She’s also done a lot of other interesting stuff. Check out her website.